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Christa Spicer and Daniel B. Robinson

Feelings of isolation have long been found to be experienced by many teachers, particularly by those within some specialist disciplines, including physical education (PE). The potential effects of teacher isolation are undesirable and plentiful. They include a lessening of interest in one’s work, burnout, and/or an absence of community connection. Given the uniqueness of their discipline, PE teachers may especially be impacted by the following: Their discipline is “low status” and marginalized, they are frequently both physically and psychologically isolated from their peers, and they often are one of very few PE specialists in a school. Given these sorts of unique challenges for PE teachers, the authors undertook a scoping review of literature in order to gather and provide a comprehensive and up-to-date account of peer-reviewed literature related to PE teachers and isolation, as well as offer implications for PE research and practice.

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John H. Challis

The results of the 2020 review and ranking of U.S. doctoral programs in kinesiology conducted by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK) are presented. These results represent data collected for the  2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 calendar years for 43 programs. The rankings reflect data collected on program faculty (productivity, funding, and visibility) and program students (admissions, support, publications, and employment). The data for each assessment index were first transformed into z scores, and then the z scores converted into T-scores. Weights were applied to the T-scores of the indices and then summed to obtain a total T-score. Programs were ranked in two ways: one based on the total T-scores from the data not normalized (unadjusted) and the other with total T-scores from the data normalized with respect to the number of faculty members in each program (adjusted). In addition to program rankings, descriptive data are presented on faculty and student data.

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Scott W.T. McNamara, Matthew Shaw, Kylie Wilson, and Angela Cox

Educational podcasts are developed specifically for learning purposes. Preliminary research suggests that many college courses and practitioners regularly use educational podcasts and that this medium is a beneficial tool to use to supplement the learning process. However, there is limited scholarly work examining the use of educational podcasts within kinesiology fields. Thus, the purpose of this study was to conduct a scoping review of the literature on the use of educational podcasts in the field of kinesiology. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews extension for Scoping Reviews Checklist guided this investigation. Six databases were searched. Fourteen articles met the full inclusion criteria. Of these, 11 were data-driven research articles, and three were practitioner articles. Much of the research identified lacked critical information related to research design, instrument development, and findings. Thus, the authors recommend that more rigorous research in this area be conducted to discern the impact of educational podcasts within the field of kinesiology.

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L. Jayne Beselt, Michelle C. Patterson, Meghan H. McDonough, Jennifer Hewson, and Scott MacKay

Physical activity (PA) and social support have known benefits for the well-being and health of older adults, and social support is associated with PA behavior and positive affective experiences in PA contexts. The aim of this study was to synthesize qualitative research conducted on the experiences of social support related to PA among older adults (age ≥55 years). Following meta-study methodology, the authors searched nine databases and extracted information from 31 studies. Results were synthesized in terms of common themes and in light of theoretical and methodological perspectives used. The qualitative literature identifies supportive behaviors and social network outcomes which may be useful for informing how best to support older adults to be physically active. This literature rarely reflected the experiences of vulnerable populations, and future research should aim to further understand supportive behaviors which enable older adults to overcome barriers and challenges to being physically active.

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Katherine Holland and Justin A. Haegele

The purpose of this article is to review qualitative inquiries examining the perspectives of students with disabilities toward physical education (PE) published from 2014 to 2019, as an update to the 2015 review by Haegele and Sutherland. Keyword searches were used to identify articles from nine electronic databases, and seven articles met all inclusion criteria. The seven selected articles were subjected to a narrative analysis, and three thematic clusters emerged: (a) an “inconvenience”: the PE teacher’s influence on quality of experience, (b) “we play together and I like it”: friendships central to the quality of PE experience, and (c) “no lift access to the gym”: barriers to successful participation. Findings from this review support the notion that students with disabilities may have positive experiences in PE if they are offered appropriate modifications and accommodations and are provided with increased kind and supportive interactions with staff and peers.

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Eve Bernstein

The purpose of this study was to understand students’ experiences through digital YouTube clips focusing on middle school competitive activities in physical education class. This study was guided by the transactional framework, which states that individuals and institutions, in this case students and competitive activities in physical education class, create certain transactions, and these transactions are shared. Twenty-six YouTube posts were examined. The data were analyzed using the constant comparative method to find patterns in the posting of students’ experiences of participating in these activities. Three major themes of the digital clips clearly emerged. These themes included (a) perceived skill level—the low-skilled student, the athlete, and the Olympian; (b) student demonstration of skills; and (c) teacher-directed experience. These findings suggest that students share transactions in both images and the spoken experiences they are having during competitive activities.

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Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Exercise remains greatly underutilized in clinical practice for reasons that are only partly understood. This critical review situates the problem within the broader political and economic context. It focuses on depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide, and the processes that followed the inclusion of exercise as a treatment option in clinical practice guidelines in the British National Health Service. The review highlights previously unaddressed phenomena, including antiexercise lobbying by primary care physicians and efforts to present the evidence for the antidepressant effects of exercise as weak, nonexistent, or methodologically flawed. Notably, the field of kinesiology remained silent while these processes unfolded. This information suggests that the path from research evidence to implementation in clinical settings remains dependent on factors beyond the amount and quality of research evidence. The review underscores the need to vigilantly monitor, critically appraise, and actively participate in the clinical research literature and the development of guidelines.

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Melinda A. Solmon, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, Nancy I. Williams, Thomas J. Templin, Sarah L. Price, and Alison Weimer

This paper evolved from a panel discussion presented at the 2020 American Kinesiology Association Leadership Workshop focused on promoting physical activity through Kinesiology teaching and outreach. The authors consider the role of Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) in promoting physical activity by examining the historical role that PETE has played in what are now Departments of Kinesiology, the status of PETE programs today, and how the future of PETE programs can impact the future of the discipline of Kinesiology. The challenges and barriers that PETE programs face are presented. The role of PETE programs in research institutions is examined, and case studies are presented that demonstrate the complexities the academic units face regarding allocating resources to PETE programs. The consequences of program termination are considered, and the authors then make a case that PETE programs are important to the broader discipline of Kinesiology. The authors conclude by encouraging innovative solutions that can be developed to help PETE programs thrive.

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Jeffrey J. Martin

Grants play a major role in higher education, including kinesiology. However, critical commentaries on the role of external funds appear nonexistent in kinesiology. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to outline the most common criticisms of grants to stimulate a conversation in kinesiology. First, I discuss benefits of grants. Second, I examine the role of grants in higher education. Third, I discuss how external funds are not required to contribute meaningful research. Fourth, I examine how a major reason for grants, to produce research publications, often goes unfullfilled. Fifth, I show how the development of grant applications (especially unsuccessful applications) is an inefficient expenditure of resources. Sixth, I discuss how pursuing grants can be detrimental to other important academy goals. Seventh, I examine how grants may negatively influence faculty and administrator morale and quality of life. Eighth, I report on some common criticisms of the grant review process and discuss some alternative reviewing systems. Finally, I end with a brief summary and some recommendations.